Theme 1 - Governance
- There is a correlation between legitimacy and effectiveness - this emphasises the importance of the right membership for the ILG. ILGs which recruit to ensure the balance of the group is representative of the sector (e.g. by company size) appear to have a better reach into the sector.
- ILGs appear to have worked best in industries with significant critical mass - food and drink, tourism, financial services.
- The number of government bodies seeking representation was very large, sometimes outnumbering industry representatives.
- The role of the Chair is hugely important and strong leadership, skills and experience, allied with a commitment to partnership working is a must for an effective ILG.
- More effective ILGs utilise sector infrastructure. ILGs which are led by or collaborate formally with trade bodies are generally able to deliver more.
- Ministerial engagement is a major draw for senior industry leaders, and impact.
We recommend that in future, the following factors should be in place to be an established and recognised ILG:
- The membership must be majority industry, made up of senior leaders who are able to commit to action and investment;
- The ILG must be a manageable size (12-15 people) ;
- All ILGs should act as catalysts, focussed on co-production and co-investment between business and the public sector in order to deliver more for Scotland. A partnership approach and ways of working need to be reviewed, including scope for shared financial input to delivery of industry innovations and projects where a clear business case exists towards national priorities, creating shared responsibility for risk and reward.
- Ministerial involvement as co-chair should be an expectation, attending two ILG meetings per year;
- There is an important role for leveraging existing sector infrastructure such as trade bodies and membership organisations due to their reach, purpose and staff resource;
- Co-ordination and communication functions should ideally be led by industry sectors themselves (working closely with Scottish Government and agencies in an enabling role); there may be a possibility to leverage this support through existing trade bodies or professional bodies already working with the sector where appropriate, pro-bono or at cost in exchange for the additional influence that the ILG provides for members;
- Scottish Ministers are right to note that an ILG should have senior representation from UK Government departments, this should be at a level capable of responding to sectoral concerns unique to Scotland and able to deliver action on matters presently reserved such as the UK Industrial Strategy Fund.
While all ILGs operate in a variety of ways, a number of common areas of best practice came to the fore amongst established ILGs during the review:
- Monthly meetings by phone/digital channels.
- Quarterly working group meetings.
- Group meetings every 4 months (morning session to business, afternoon, discussion forum. Scottish Government and enterprise agencies have standing invitation
The Role of the Scottish Government and Agencies
Ministerial engagement through a recognised structure is key to reinvigorating the ILGs for future challenges, and stimulating action and impact. As such, the role of Scottish Government and agencies should be:
- Government should be there in an enabling role to support the sector to grow and articulate and deliver its contribution to key strategic priorities (e.g. Climate Change and a transition to a vibrant and growing low carbon economy).
- Agencies should be involved in working appropriately with ILGs to engage, co-produce, co-fund and co-deliver on emerging opportunities.
- One senior representative of Scottish Government (Team Leader minimum) should attend the ILG and at least one senior representative of the enterprise and skills agencies (this could flex depending on topics of discussion).
- It is incumbent on government bodies to work together to find representatives with the right skills and experience, who can cover the brief, who will undertake to communicate the needs of the sector across the system.